Rebels owner dismisses Super Rugby exit talk

Date published: March 6 2017

Melbourne Rebels owner Andrew Cox has poured cold water over suggestions that his franchise are in line for the Super Rugby chopping block.

Heavy losses in the Rebels’ first two matches of the season to the Blues and Hurricanes and have led to speculation that the team could be cut from the competition, ahead of SANZAAR bosses meeting in London on Friday to map our the 2018 tournament.

Cox’s argument is that the Australian Rugby Union could not afford the cost of doing so. Cox’s Imperium Capital Group purchased the Rebels from the ARU in 2015.

“Economically I doubt the ARU could afford to do it,” Cox told AAP.

“We’ve got stadium deals, new facilities we’ve invested a lot of money in and there’s significant issues with that.

“We’re a very important market for Fox (pay television) as we’re the second best advertising market in Australia so there’s a whole host of things that make it highly unlikely.”

Cox also backed Rebels head coach Tony McGahan despite those two disastrous early season results.

“Tony is doing a great job,” Cox added.

“We’ve got a tough draw, there’s no question about that… the season is more than two games and we would hope we’re putting in place things to ensure we perform at a much better level on the park than we have been.”